A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again.
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Robert Altman's sadly neglected film that, along with his later "Images", fits into the unconventional psycho-thriller mold. A bizarre story with Sandy Dennis as a spinster who takes in a handsome young man (Michael Burns) who is pretending to be mute. She imprisons the boy and supplies his every need, including a prostitute (Luana Anders), whom she goes out and brings home for Burns' pleasure.Written by
The film met with scathing reviews. Indeed one of the film executives who hired Robert Altman told him that if he had seen the kind of film the director would ultimately deliver, he never would have hired him in the first place. See more »
I'm not going to get under the covers or anything. I'll just lay on top. I have to tell you something. If you feel that you want to make love to me, it's all right. I want you to make love to me. Please.
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This film requires a lot of patience. Because it focuses on mood and character development, the plot is very simple and many of the scenes take place on the same set - in Frances Austen's (the Sandy Dennis character) apartment. But the film builds to a disturbing climax.
The characters create an atmosphere rife with sexual tension and psychological trickery. It's very interesting that Robert Altman directed this, considering the style and structure of his other films. Still, the trademark Altman audio style is evident here and there. I think what really makes this film work is the brilliant performance by Sandy Dennis. It's definitely one of her darker characters, but she plays it so perfectly and convincingly that it's scary. Michael Burns does a good job as the "mute" young man. Regular Altman player Michael Murphy has a small part. The solemn, moody set fits the content of the story very well. In short, this movie is a powerful study of loneliness, sexual repression, and desperation. Be patient, soak up the atmosphere, and pay attention to the wonderfully written script.
I praise Robert Altman. This is one of his many films that deals with unconventional, fascinating subject matter. This film is disturbing, but it's sincere and it's sure to elicit a strong emotional response from the viewer. If you want to see an unusual film - some might even say bizarre - this is worth the time.
Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find in video stores. You may have to buy it off the internet.
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